Many things are happening in AM lately and multi-material printing capabilities are a hot topic. MIT and ETH, in collaboration with Inkbit just published a major study while Aerosint and Fraunhofer are both working on advanced metal multi-material capabilities. Lithoz, a leading ceramic 3D printing company that has been targeting multi-material ceramics printing, has now made an investment in AMAREA Technology, whose 3D printers combine up to six different materials in a single print run, with the thermoplastic feedstock solidifying in a fraction of a second.
“With this financial engagement in AMAREA Technology, we are very proud to actively support their way to a completely new dimension of 3D printed functionally graded components,” said Lithoz CEO Dr. Johannes Homa.
Homa, continued: “We can’t wait to see how our ultra-precise Lithoz LCM technology and AMAREA Technology’s MMJ system pointing on maximum material diversity will work hand in hand to unlock previously unachievable potentials. This will create the next generation of multi-material 3D printed applications from the semiconductor to the aerospace industry – as first inquiries have already proven.”
After almost a decade of fruitful cooperation together with Dresden-based Fraunhofer IKTS, another key innovation driver in multi-material printing, Lithoz officially acquired a strategic share in their spin-off AMAREA Technology, which gathered significant attention at Formnext.
As a specialist in multi-material 3D printing, AMAREA Technology has developed a revolutionary 3D printing technology that processes up to 6 different materials in one single print run. Their Multi Material Jetting (MMJ) technology therefore unlocks completely new multidimensional combinations of various ceramics, metals, polymers and composites in both individual parts and functionally graded components.
Inspired by LP injection molding, the high-filled thermoplastic base material developed and supplied by AMAREA Technology is dispensed drop by drop. Due to the nanoliter volume, the drops solidify in a fraction of a second, considerably speeding up the entire printing process. Thanks to the selective droplet-based printing technology, parts achieve a considerably higher level of accuracy than material extrusion processes, for example. This allows a material change to take place every 200 μm so that highly functionalized components can be additively manufactured. ‘We had a great response to our multi-material 3D-printed heaters and igniters for high temperatures above 1000 degrees, which enable applications in harsh environments, too.’ summarizes CEO Steven Weingarten as a conclusion from Formnext 2023.
The resulting functionally graded components have a far higher density and better surface quality than those printed using other material extrusion techniques, for instance. Beyond that, it is also possible to define requested porosities at any selected position within the component. More than 25 different materials have already been introduced to the MMJ production technique, with the portfolio continuously growing, while important parameters such as filling levels, porosity, gradient, layer height and density can be freely and specifically defined.
Steven Weingarten, AMAREA Technology CEO, added: “The partnership with Lithoz and their belief in our technology inspire us. Lithoz’s global reputation and its successful path to becoming the market leader in ceramic 3D printing are a model for the mission we are now taking in the field of multi-material 3D printing. We would like to express our gratitude to Johannes Homa and Johannes Benedikt for their trust and look forward to the exciting journey together.”